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X-ray into indigenous high life industry



THIS writing was basically inspired by the recent release of the official video titled in appreciation, ‘Follow’ by Onyenze Amobi. On the April 3, the Anambra State born Onyenze released the video on all digital channels. Since its mm release, it has met fans’ high expectations.

This video displayed lots of energy from the high life musician who is basically known by his master piece, “One One Billion. ” Of recent, the music industry, especially Igbo high life has begun to experience the laws of diminishing returns gradually after losing the likes of legends such as Chief Oliver De Coque, Chief Osadebe, Mc Loph, etc to the cold hands of death as those who are alive and kicking have resorted to some other genre of music or taken a final exit stage off the scene.

Though the likes of upcoming and reigning acts which includes, Chinedu ‘Flavour’ Okoli, J. Martins, late Oliver’s son, Safin De Coque, Phyno have played a part in reviving this genre of music they, however, have trailed another path to entertaining their listeners.

To really appreciate indigenous music of any kind, we must attribute it success to the influence and esteemed g of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (1938-1997). Fela played a major role in pioneering the indigenous music industry. Young acts such as Buena Boy, Wizkid, Slimcase, Falz,  among others still appraise his influence on their lives; hence, their eulogy to his person in some of their numbers.

Since early 2000s, the indigenous music of the South East region has experienced several talented acts, living and dead, with  some about to unveil. One thing that is so peculiar about the lgbo high life music is the natural and melodious style called ‘Ogene Music.’ This kind of music derives its name from the same instrument, Ogene. It is metallic, conical shaped and could be tagged as the master instrument in lgboland.

Interestingly, this instrument plays a dual role of music and sounds. In a typical lgbo setting, the town crier maximises its full potentials. Of recent, most locals have begun to harness its usefulness thus resurrecting its full importance. This is actualised by combining its lilts to release tunes that make the heart leap for joy. Today, we are surrounded by groups or persons who identify themselves as ‘so or so’ Ogene group.

Amongst such persons include the late Morocco Maduka who was laid to rest during the Easter celebration period. Nonetheless, our attention is drawn to the transformation of the Ogidi born, Onyenze Amobi. The high life musician who dishes out rich tones with locally made instruments including the Ogene seems to wax stronger as he sets the internet abuzz with a rich and energising striking number, ‘Follow. ‘. In the three minutes, 55seconds video , the music maestro shares an original story of a typical Nigerian who struggles to survive until he hits his break. The video is by the direction, Avalon Okpe and used very rich and exquisite locations. One interesting feature is that the artist maintained a rich lgbo culture especially as seen in his costume in the different shots taken. This is very encouraging as this is expected of other young vixens like Phyno, Selebobo, Umuobiligbo , etc.

However, it is pertinent to use this medium to address the issue of culture and values. Our brothers and sisters in the industry should endeavor to appreciate and uphold their heritage irrespective of any genre of music, taking a cue from the Yoruba Fuji music that has stood the test of time. It will do us well if we channel our lyrics and styles including all other aspects of entertainment in promoting the lgbo culture in the highlife music.

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